KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Government budgets around the nation, already busted by the bad economy, now have a new nemesis: Mother Nature.Read the rest here.
Yet another winter storm is going to heap more ice and snow across a huge section of the country this week, meaning yet another big bill, on top of a lot of other big bills, for all the towns and cities that have to dig out again.
“On a weather map, some people see snowflakes, I see dollar signs,” said R. T. Rybak, the mayor of Minneapolis, as a light snowfall brightened the white mounds lining the city streets.
Not that officials have any choice. The streets have to be cleared, of course, but often with fewer plows and less salt than in years past.
Many cities — New York among them — have already overspent their snow budgets and many more expect this storm to push them into the red. In Minneapolis, a record-setting series of snowstorms in December pushed the city over the snow-removal budget for 2010 by $3.3 million — more than the city spends on pothole repairs for the entire year.
Virg Bernero, mayor of Lansing, Mich., said that the snowstorm came at a “desperate time” for the city and that paying for snow removal would force him to make cuts elsewhere.
We have two storms rolling in back to back. One comes in tonight and ends early afternoon tomorrow. The next one is due in tomorrow night and likely to last all day on Wednesday. Altogether we will get anywhere from 8 to 18 inches of snow. Also expected; the ever fun sleet, freezing rain and ice.
I forgot how much I love northeastern winters...